Stuffed Peppers seem fancy but it’s an easy way to serve peppers! Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty ground beef, sausage, rice, and tomato filling. Top it all with cheese and bake until bubbly. 

Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).

Stuffed Peppers in clear glass baking dish

Ingredients

Stuffed Bell Peppers are easy to make and everyone loves them!

  • MEAT We fill these with a mixture of beef and sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer)
  • RICE I use long grain white rice but I do sometimes replace the rice with Cauliflower Rice.
  • SAUCE Use your fave marinara sauce or pasta sauce. Add in some herbs (fresh if you’ve got them) and onions. If you like a little heat, stir in some chili flakes.

Peppers for Stuffed Peppers

While I used green peppers in this recipe, any color bell pepper (red/yellow/orange) will work just fine. The peppers do have different flavors so it can depend on your personal taste preference.

  • Green peppers are a bit zestier and we love the flavor with the filling mixture.
  • If you like sweeter peppers, red, yellow, or orange are great options.

Stuffed Pepper recipe ingredients in a pot

How to make Stuffed Peppers

My friends often ask me how to make stuffed bell peppers and my response is always the same – it’s so easy! While these may look difficult, if you follow these easy steps, you will have perfect stuffed peppers every time!

  1. Brown meat, onion, and garlic (per recipe below). Add tomato sauce, rice and seasonings and cook until rice is tender.
  2. While the filling is cooking, prepare your peppers by simmering 5 minutes to soften or even bake them in the oven for 15 minutes if you’d like.
  3. Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat and rice mixture. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly!

I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in these Mexican Stuffed Peppers).

Do You Have to Pre-cook the Peppers Before Stuffing Them?  No you don’t have to precook the peppers, but they do stay quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. I think they’re better if you pre-cook them a bit.

Stuffed Peppers in baking dish with tomato sauce

How Long to Cook Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.

Great Sides

This dish goes well with a fresh salad and bread. Here are some favorites:

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish

Make Ahead & Leftovers

Stuffed peppers can be frozen and they are a great make-ahead meal!

To Freeze Stuffed Peppers prepare and bake as directed below. They can be frozen individually or together in a baking dish. To re-heat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish
4.97 from 321 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Stuffed Peppers

Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty beef and rice filling with tomato sauce are baked until bubbly.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients  

  • 6 bell peppers
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can small diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces
  • ½ cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers (reserve the tops), remove seeds and membranes and discard. Chop tops of the peppers to add to the filling.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook peppers 5 minutes. Remove and drain well.
  • In a large skillet, brown beef, sausage, onion & garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice, rice, 1 ¼ cup water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning.
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. You can add more water if needed. Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
  • Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over peppers.
  • Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil, baste peppers with any sauce in the bottom. Top with cheddar and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.

Video

Notes

If you want firmer/tender-crisp peppers, skip the boiling step and bake as directed.
4.97 from 321 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 922mg | Potassium: 933mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4255IU | Vitamin C: 166.8mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. I used rotell instead of plain diced tomatoes and added salt, ,pepper and garlic seasoning. Turned out yummy! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  2. Awesome recipe! I’ve made it three times. The first time was done with slavish adherence to the recipe. My kids wanted it to be a little more spicy, so I made some adjustments the next two times. My adjustments were that I used 3/4 pound of ground beef and 3/4 pound of spicy Italian sausage (Premio from Costco). I also used 1.5 tablespoons of Italian seasoning, added half of a jalapeño, and I used RAO’s marinara sauce (also from Costco). I switched out the cheddar for mozzarella. I know it seems like a lot of changes, but my adjusted version wasn’t far off from the original. The real take-home here is the process! Holly’s directions are absolutely perfect and even with the changes, the times and procedures leave you with perfectly cooked stuffed peppers!5 stars

  3. We never brown the meat ahead of time for stuffed peppers. Cook the rice and mix it into raw hamburger or whatever meat you use. (My wife act like pork sausage is Kyptonite). Add the rice and onions (and garlic if using even some of the tomatoes if desired) to the mix then stuff your peppers and add the rest of tomatoes over top and bake. We don’t put cheese on them either. I think using raw hamburger takes on a whole different flavor.

  4. Recipe turned out so good! Only thing I added was more cheese to the mixture.
    I had some leftover meat mixture so I’ll be making the soup!5 stars